McDermott General Store: Late October Business

During the last week in October of 1883, the McDermott General Store was busy with customers settling their tabs and selling butter (and other products) for credit on their accounts.  For instance, on October 6th Patrick Langan sold a 211-pound hog @ 6-cents a pound.

I gather hunting was on the minds of several Tara residents, including Frank McMahon who purchased 2# shot (20-cents) and 1/2# powder (20-cents) and Tim Galvin who picked up 1 box caps (10-cents) and 1/4# powder (10-cents).

In preparation for the cold season fast approaching, people bought lots of yarn, no doubt to create scarves, hats, and mittens to ward off the winter chill.  More kerosene oil was purchased as well, to shed a little light on the long, dark evenings spent knitting or crocheting.  Thomas O’Brien would stay warm that winter in his 2 suits of scarlet underwear.  They better have kept him warm, he paid$4.75 for the two pairs!

The biggest ticket item sold that week was a $7.00 shawl purchased by Stephan Owens on October 23rd.  He also received some sort of “cash advance” from Mr. McDermott as “cash – $2” was added to his total bill.  I wonder what that could have been for?

With Halloween just around the corner, I had hoped to see some purchases that would indicate a celebration of some sort.  Maybe the peck of apples John Maher bought for 50-cents were for a rousing game of bobbing for apples?  There was one suspicious purchase made toward the end of the month.  In order to protect the good names of her descendants I will keep her identity to myself, but it’s interesting that Mrs. X just had to have a new broom on October 29th…

Psst…I left a clue to the woman’s identity…care to guess?



Filed under McDermott's General Store

6 responses to “McDermott General Store: Late October Business

  1. Margo McGeary Ascheman

    Hell0== I am trying to tie some of my family to the names you have come up with. Timothy Galvin == he has a son Maurice Edward Galvin B Dec 13 l872 MARRIED to Martha Agnes Hughes B march ll, 1882 who was my G grandmothers n Mary Elizabeth Hughes B Jun 6, 1879 married patrick I. McGeary

    Also McMahan person as my Grandfather James McGeary was married to Bridget Margaret McMahan… B about l837 in Ireland Bridget ‘s parents were James McMahonMcMahan & Margaret Carrol… I not think they came to USA.. Bridget and James were married in Monchas, Wisc April 4 l864

    I not know any info about the McMahon people…. Do you know anyone who has info about the McMahon — McMahan people….

    Thank you. Margo

  2. Pingback: Odds and Ends « History of Clontarf, Minnesota

  3. Colleen Galvin


    I stumbled upon this website, because my family was from Clontarf. Timothy Galvin was my great-grandfather and Maurice was my great uncle. My grandfather was John Galvin and he married Mary Ann Fleming. They had nine children, including my father, Kenneth Galvin. Many of my family members are buried in the Clontarf cemetery. My dad’s family moved from Clontarf to St. Paul sometime around 1930. Please let me know if you have any other information. My uncle Dick is the only living sibling and he is 89 years old, however, he is still pretty sharp and probably could tell you more about Maurice. Thanks. Colleen

    • Hi Colleen,

      So excited to see your comment! I have been interested in the Galvin family because of some connections to my family. We believe Timothy Galvin came from Ireland with two of my great-great-grandfathers, John Regan and Patrick Foley. Several years I came across a family history by your uncle Robert Galvin. Have you seen this? It is done on his letterhead and traces the history of the Flemings and the Galvins. Let me know if you have that, if not I will send you a copy! I will be in touch later in the week. Thanks for taking a look at the blog!


    • Margo McGeary Ascheman

      Hi Colleen: I just looked up the Galvin Hughes marriage from Clontarf Tara program….

      My tie to these two people are the Galvin Wife;;

      Martha Agnes Hughes B March 11, l883 in Dakota Co. Mn Daughter of

      Parents Cournelius P. Hughes B Jan 25 1845 Canada pparents were Wm Henry Hughes Margaret (Sara} Campbell

      Katherine Dunn B Oct 11m 1857 Dakota Co. parents are Michael Joseph Dunn–Clomcel Co. Ireland B about 1827 Elizabeth Connors, Tipperary Ireland B l829

      Martha and Maurice married Might be Danvers, MN Nov 27, 1906

      This Martha is a sister of My Grandmother McGeary Patrick I McGeary &
      Mary Elizabeath Hughes B June 6-1879 Dakota Co. Mn

      Margo McGeary Ascheman

  4. Margo McGeary Ascheman

    contact me at


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